NORDEN (FOR PURBECK PARK)

NORDEN (FOR PURBECK PARK)

Norden is situated to the north of Corfe Castle, directly adjacent and accessible from the main A351 road before you reach Corfe. Just follow the clearly marked brown tourism signs to the ample car park, kindly provided by Dorset Council. You can park all day long (charges apply), leave traffic hassles behind and let the train take the strain.

Norden is much more than a car park! Explore the industrial past of Purbeck by visiting our new award winning Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum. Experience the sights and smells as you and your family venture underground, experiencing Victorian life as a ball-clay miner. Marvel at the narrow gauge railways, once common in this area, which transported the ball-clay to sidings connected to the Swanage branch before being made into a wide variety of household products.

There is a children’s wooden play area for the kids to let off steam, our well stocked refreshment facility and picnic areas, male, female and accessible toilets, local tourist and bus information. Catch the Swanage Railway train from here to Corfe Castle, Harmans Cross and Swanage.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

From our picturesque station ideally located for the village you can catch the Swanage Railway trains to Harmans Cross and Swanage, as well as trains heading north to the Park & Ride facility and mining museum at Norden.

No visit to Swanage Railway is complete without a trip to Corfe Castle station. The station building dates from the opening of the line in 1885, but following closure and narrowly avoiding demolition in the 1970’s has been painstakingly restored by our hard working team. You can see the station live on the webcam, which is mounted on our working signalbox facing north towards the castle...

Step back in time as you open the door and enter our station, complete with wooden floors, coal fires and Ladies' Waiting Room, listen to the birds and ting-ting of signal bells coming from our heritage signalbox before the train steams into view.

Our friendly Porters will happily help with travel information and show you around; find out more about the history of the railway and the 30 year battle to save and rebuild the branch in the exhibition, sit back and watch archive films in our Cinema coach, complete with flap-down seating! The Goods Shed has been restored to display period signs and memorabilia linked to the long history of railways in Purbeck and Dorset. You can even see inside the original Station Master’s lounge restored to the 1950's, complete with old radio and newspapers.

Whether discovering the history of the railway and the extraordinary battle to save and then rebuild every single panel of track, stepping back in time to a bygone era, catching a photograph of the iconic castle and steam trains, exploring the lovely village, enjoying a walk or cycle ride through Purbeck or just sitting back and enjoying the view and weather, Corfe Castle station should be on your itinerary when visiting Swanage Railway.

Harmans Cross

Harmans Cross

STATION CURRENTLY CLOSED

Harmans Cross makes a great starting point for exploring the Purbeck countryside; why not walk or cycle from here, then pick up the train from our stations at;

  • Norden
  • Corfe Castle
  • Herson Halt
  • Swanage

There are footpaths south to the stunning Jurassic Coastline, the Portland stone mining areas, to Corfe and to Swanage. Local camp sites provide the ideal place to stay, our trains run frequently in both directions so you can explore further what the Purbecks have to offer.

The station is located in a tranquil spot, within unspoilt rolling Dorset countryside which retains its agricultural charm and rolling hills which has inspired artists and writers for generations, including Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton.

Local volunteers continue the traditions of station staff by carefully tending the station gardens, alongside period buildings typical of branchlines throughout Dorset – though you will find it unbelievable that the station was only opened in 1989! This was the only new station built in Dorset since the days of steam. The platforms, period buildings with Portland stone, signalbox and semaphore signals have all been rescued, restored and installed at Harmans Cross. Many of our train services pass each other using the two tracks at this station, with platform indicators guiding you to the correct platform. With plenty of seating and picnic benches, it makes an ideal spot to stop off and watch the trains majestically steam in and out of the station.

Many of our special events are hosted at Harman’s Cross on the adjacent field and newly built village hall.

Herston halt

Herston halt

STATION CURRENTLY CLOSED

Catch the Swanage Railway train from here to Swanage or Harmans Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden (for Purbeck Park).

Herston Halt is a request stop.

The station platforms at Herston have been installed to provide for the needs of local residents of Herston and western Swanage. There are several nearby campsites with many footplaths and the halt provides a frequent service to Swanage and Corfe.

Like many halts across the country, trains only stop on request. Travelling passengers should give early notice to the Guard on their train that they wish to alight here and passengers waiting for a train on the platform at Herston Halt should give a clear signal to the driver of an approaching train that they want it to stop to pick them up.

There is a long association between Swanage Railway and the 11th Signal Regiment. The regiment assisted the railway as it rebuilt the tracks and infrastructure to allow trains to once again run to Corfe, as well as maintaining and improving the facilities at Herston Halt and there is a memorial at the halt to acknowledge this assistance and ongoing relationship.

Swanage

Swanage

Catch the Swanage Railway train from here to Herston, Harmans Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden (for Purbeck Park).

The grand seaside terminus of the line, Swanage station boasts a newly restored long canopy and has all the charm of a seaside holiday of days gone by.

As the train pulls into the station you can see the old luggage and platform trolleys, once common all over the country. Our well stocked Gift Shop is open every day we are running and offers a wide range of souvenirs, gifts, toys and local products to suit all tastes and budgets. There are also books and DVD’s about the branch and railways in Dorset.

You might have worked up a thirst or hunger and we have a Station Buffet located at the end of the platform ready to serve a wide range of snacks, lunches, the famous Dorset cream teas and delicious locally produced ice cream, cakes and preserves. You can sit in our expertly restored coach or outside in the extensive picnic area and take in the sunshine while watching the trains and locomotives busy themselves. You can view the action live at our webcam

The station is in the centre of the town, with the main high street running from the station down to the beach with lots of small independent shops. These offering something for all tastes as well as beach equipment if you have forgotten your bucket and spade!

The picturesque Swanage Bay is World Heritage Site “Jurassic Coast”, with stunning headlands to either end and an award winning sandy “Blue Flag” beach with calm clear waters, enjoyed by bathers for generations. Swanage has retained its Victorian seaside charm, complete with bathing huts, promenade, pier used by paddle steamers and vibrant calendar of local events including the regatta and carnival. You can catch an open top bus from Swanage station to Sandbanks, with more buses to Durlston Country Park, which offers commanding views of the Isle of Wight and Jurassic Coastline, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Our station staff and the Tourist Information Office on the seafront adjacent to the sandy beach has lots of ideas to suit all families, and with lots of local accommodation why not stay a while in Swanage?